Monday, May 04, 2020
Enjoying the cogito with Žižek.
The standard topic of the contemporary anti-philosophy is anti- Cartesianism: the Cartesian cogito is an abstract rational entity artificially torn out of the concrete life-world of actual individuals. In this context, the Freudian Unconscious is perceived as part of the anti-Cartesian backlash, as yet another proof, in the line of Feuerbach, Marx, etc., that we humans are not isolated thinking beings but, as Heidegger would have put it, always-already throwninto- the-world, engaged with reality. Lacan’s thesis that cogito is the Freudian subject acquires here its full weight: for him, on the contrary, the Unconscious is not part of the thick non-transparent background of the Lebenswelt. With regard to the opposition between abstract (decontextualized) rational structures and concrete thick life-world, the Unconscious is on the side of the first: the Unconscious is the intrusion of a foreign body into our life-world, it is like an intruding machine which derails the smooth functioning of our life-world, subordinating it to its own weird laws. Just think about what the Unconscious of drives does to our innate instinctual sexuality: it totally perverts it, subordinating its reproductive function to an almost suicidal mechanism of the compulsion-to-repeat in which enjoyment is posited as a self-goal. Lacan knew what he was talking about when he said that the Cartesian cogito is the subject of the Unconscious.
From "The digital police state: Fichte’s revenge on Hegel" in University of Tabriz's Journal of Philosophical Investigations, 13.28.
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